Sheriff: Suicidal Ariz couple wanted deputies dead

Jan 22, 2012, 12:19 AM

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) – An Arizona couple who committed suicide last month planned to lure sheriff’s deputies to their remote, desert home and kill as many as possible before ending their own lives, a top local law enforcement official said, as an eerie series of videos the couple made was released this week.

Yuma County investigators found elaborate plans, both in writing and in video, in a blast-protected area after Jesse Lee and Diedre Firestone’s Dome Valley home exploded Dec. 23 while surrounded by officers.

They had planned to blow up the house as a SWAT team entered, Capt. Eben Bratcher told the Yuma Sun (
http://bit.ly/AqdfFB). The couple’s bodies were found in the home two days after the explosion. One deputy suffered minor injuries when the blast knocked him down.

“The motive behind their plan is not known, but it was clear they fully intended to murder as many deputies as possible prior to taking their own lives,” Bratcher told the newspaper. “These people absolutely had a plan, and I think they wanted to die and make as big of a scene as they could possibly make.”

In one of the videos released to the Yuma Sun, the couple are seen sitting on their balcony, calmly discussing what was about to happen while waiting for deputies to respond.

In another, Jesse Firestone, 65, shows a .357 magnum rifle he planned to use and the hole in the front door of the home he was going to fire through. He even mentions some sheriff deputies by name, saying “it’s nothing personal. Anyway _ adios.”

Footage also shows a shrine the Firestones called the “Church of Death,” which features a bible, two binders with hand-made covers entitled the “Firestone Gospel,” and a picture of Osama bin Laden.

What is not known and may never be is if the explosion actually happened prematurely or if the Firestones changed their minds and decided not to go through with their plans, Bratcher said.

“This could have ended up horribly, and we are grateful none of our guys were seriously injured,” Bratcher said. “It was one of those things you wouldn’t have ever expected to happen in Yuma. It is insane. You read about this type of thing in the paper happening somewhere else.”

Authorities drove to the home on the afternoon of Dec. 23 after a man called the sheriff’s office and said he had just shot his ill wife. The man opened fire on arriving officers, and that’s when the house blew up.

Before sheriff’s officials arrived, Jesse Firestone in a video is seen standing inside his home using a cell phone to call 911 to report that he had just mercifully shot his wife, which was how they planned to lure deputies to their residence. According to that video, Diedre Firestone, 45, had been suffering from “self-diagnosed” breast cancer for the past 10 months, but refusing to get treatment.

“I got to go kill my dogs now,” Jesse Firestone is seen saying before he hangs up the phone.

It took two days for a bomb squad to enter the home. They found the main bedroom and living room heavily damaged from the explosion and subsequent fire, with the roof caved in. They also located 15 five-gallon propane bottles near the two bodies. Two propane bottles appear to have bullet holes in them, possibly indicating the explosion was intentional.

___

Information from: The Sun,
http://www.yumasun.com

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - This Sept. 9, 2012 file photo shows The entrance to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Sou...
Associated Press

Experts: US Court fractures decades of Native American law

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling expanding state authority to prosecute some crimes on Native American land is fracturing decades of law built around the hard-fought principle that tribes have the right to govern themselves on their own territory, legal experts say.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Top election officials in Arizona county leave amid threats

PHOENIX (AP) — The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona’s Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump who accept his lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud. County Recorder Leslie Hoffman said […]
19 hours ago
Roberto Guillermo Bravo, a former Argentine navy officer, leaves federal court Monday, June 27, 202...
Associated Press

US jury finds ex-Argentine officer responsible for massacre

MIAMI (AP) — A jury in Miami on Friday found a former Argentine naval officer responsible for a 1972 massacre of political prisoners in his homeland and ordered him to pay more than $20 million in damages to relatives of four of the victims. The unanimous verdict of the seven jurors was delivered against Roberto […]
19 hours ago
FILE - In this July 24, 2021, file photo former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a ga...
Associated Press

Trump social media firm subpoened by feds, stock regulators

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s social media company and some of its employees received subpoenas from both a federal grand jury and securities regulators, according to a public disclosure Friday, possibly delaying or even killing a deal promising a cash infusion needed to take on Twitter. Trump Media & Technology Group received subpoenas from […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Woman awarded $431,000 for Occupy Wall Street police actions

NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan woman was awarded over $400,000 on Friday by a federal jury after suing New York City and its police department, saying she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown to the ground by a police sergeant while serving as a medic for protesters during 2012 Occupy Wall […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Woman awarded $431,000 for Occupy Wall Street police actions

NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan woman was awarded over $400,000 on Friday by a federal jury after suing New York City and its police department, saying she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown to the ground by a police sergeant while serving as a medic for protesters during 2012 Occupy Wall […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Sheriff: Suicidal Ariz couple wanted deputies dead